Accent Modification in a 30-Year-Old L1 Ukrainian Speaker
This case involves the evaluation and management of a female English speaker with a moderate Ukrainian accent. Accent modification is often sought by professionals hoping to enhance their career trajectory. NS specifically desired to improve her communicative effectiveness and confidence in the use of Standard American English (SAE) in daily contexts at home with her children, in social contexts with friends, and in her professional life. As a future speech-language pathologist (SLP), she was particularly concerned regarding her ability to deliver services effectively.
NS, a 29-year-old woman, was self-referred for accent modification. NS is a native speaker of Ukrainian, but she currently speaks English in almost all settings including with her two young children. She moved to the United States from Ukraine in 2001 at the age of 15 following intensive English language studies. She continues to speak Ukrainian with her husband and parents. At the time of the evaluation, she was enrolled in her first year of a Master’s program in Communicative Sciences and Disorders. NS referred to herself as a “perfectionist,” and expressed an acute awareness of specific components of her accent, an academic and personal interest in treatment methodologies, and a strong desire to improve her speech and language skills to sound “as close to native as possible.”